Mortality in heart failure with atrial fibrillation: Role of digoxin and diuretics

Felipe Gonzalez-Loyola, Rosa Abellana, José Maria Verdú-Rotellar, Alejandro Bustamante Rangel, Josep Lluís Clua-Espuny, Miguel Angel Muñoz

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4 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation Background: The impact of atrial fibrillation (AF) on mortality of patients with heart failure (HF) has been established. Nevertheless, the effect of some factors in mortality, such as digoxin or diuretic use, remains controversial. This study aims at assessing mortality in community-dwelling patients with stable HF related to AF and determines the relation of these drugs with prognosis. Materials and methods: Community-based cohort study of HF patients diagnosed between January 2010 and December 2014 attended at any one of the 279 primary healthcare centres of the Catalan Institute of Health (Spain). Follow-up ended on December 31, 2015, and the main outcome was mortality for all causes. The effect of clinical and demographic characteristics on survival was assessed by Cox proportional hazards model. Results: A total of 13 334 HF patients were included. Mean age was 78.7 years (SD 10.1), and 36.8% had AF. Mean follow-up was 26.9 months (SD 14.0). At the end of the study, 25.8% patients had died, and mortality was higher when AF was present (28.8% vs 24.1%, P < 0.001, respectively). Multivariate model confirmed the higher risk of death for AF patients (HR 1.10 95%, CI 1.02-1.19). Digoxin and diuretics were not associated with higher mortality in AF patients (HR 1.04 95% CI 0.92-1.18 and HR 1.04 95% CI 0.85-1.26, respectively). Conclusions: An excess of mortality in HF patients with AF was found in a large retrospective community-based cohort. Digoxin and diuretics did not affect mortality in HF patients with AF.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13014
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • atrial fibrillation
  • digoxin
  • diuretic
  • heart failure
  • mortality
  • primary health care


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